Poldark’s women spy another hairy chest
THEY’RE fighting over a girl – Cornish style – in tonight’s episode of Poldark.
The ubiquitous male chests take centre stage once again, although this time Aidan Turner is merely a concerned spectator.
Two other characters are left to “pant and sweat” as they take up the ancient art of Cornish wrestling in a fight over a woman.
The scene is set at the Sawle Feast, when Warleggan hard-man Tom Harry (Turlough Convery) challenges Demelza’s devout brother Sam (Tom York) to a fight. Emma (Ciara Charteris) is the prize. Ross, Demelza, Elizabeth and the Enyses look on in horror as the two hurl themselves about in a sport which dates from medieval times and is locally known as “wrasslin”.
It is still staged once a year at the Royal Cornwall Show and is said to be the “oldest sport in Cornwall”.
It is claimed Henry V was accompanied into the Battle of Agincourt by Cornishmen holding a banner, showing two Cornish wrestlers in a clinch.
Actor Tom York said: “Sam agrees to a wrestling match with the brutish Tom Harry for the love of Emma Tregirls, who has promised to attend church with him if he wins.
“Sam agrees to fight in the hope of finally providing her with the chance to fall in love with Methodism in a way that he has.
“Filming the match was so much fun. It is a real joy as an actor when you have something so physical to get your teeth into.
“We had to wear the traditional Cornish wrestling jackets, which were our only weapons. You grab on to the other’s jacket to pin your opponent down on the ground.
“The object is to lift and throw your opponent so that he falls flat on to his back. It was
exhausting. It was choreographed but we wanted to get an authentic feel for it. We had a lot of room to play around within that.
“It is a really long fight so when you see us panting and sweating there is no acting and very little make-up.
“It was a really immersive experience and great fun. From the reactions of the people watching it is going to be very exciting.”
Sam’s love for Emma will challenge his strict Methodist views, said York.
He said: “It comes down to fighting for love this series for Sam. He fights with himself because Emma is not necessarily who Sam is destined to be with. Emma represents so many things he wishes he could be and some things he definitely doesn’t wish to be.
“But he can’t help loving her and even though he knows she is probably not right for him he can’t stop his heart. I think a lot of people can relate to that struggle.” ● Poldark, BBC One tonight, 9pm.
BRUISING ENCOUNTER: Bearded Tom Harry (Turlough Convery) lifts Sam Carne (Tom York) during their traditional Cornish fight; inset, Tom with Emma Tregirls (Ciara Charteris)